by Christopher Harbin

According to Wisdom
Christopher B. Harbin
1 Corinthians 2:6-16

Looking at many changes in the thought of the church over the centuries, one notes that as the society changed its way of thinking, the church adapted to those realities. Slavery was accepted within the church until forces from the outside demonstrated the inadequacy of the practiced concept. Racism between blacks and whites points to another example of the same phenomenon in which the church has learned from the larger society. The role and value of women indicates another example of social transformation. Too often society transforms the church, when the church should be the agent of change.
This is no complete picture of the church. Many promoting social transformation were people of faith. The worry is that in so many cases, those outside the church adopted such transformation of thought, many times coherent with the gospel, far before the majority of our religious institutions. We often follow a step behind society while we should be marking time for the world around us to follow.
Such should not be the reality of the church. God's plan is distinct and transformational. Paul speaks of a wisdom from which we should act in contrast to the pace of the society in which we live. It is from this greater wisdom that we should act as agents of positive transformation in this world. For this, Paul preached and worked in the cities of the Roman Empire. He was an agent of transformation in the societies through which he passed. The difference was that he did not use the tools of force and power that were so common among others. He lived amid a people who thought much of power, but Paul acted to effect change by accepting suffering and love as appropriate means of transformation. His wisdom was counter-culture and counter-intuitive.
Paul did not seek to transform the world through the vehicles of power and politics of the Roman Empire. He did not seek to take advantage of force, wealth, ...

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